UBIQr 3 Workshop
Visit the workshop Memory Space here. If you were there, you can add new thoughts, documents, images etc using this page
If you were not there, the Memory Space captures the interactions and discussions in multimedia form, posted by phone, web etc and linked to place on a map, to show the emerging informal places and encounters of the workshop. It is intended as a way to create a share memory of the many formal and informal interactions that a workshop or conference entails.
16-17 October 2008 placemarking - placemaking: brands versus tags
Venue: Informatics Forum, George Sq map
Brandscapes are overly-signed, consumer-oriented, politically-anxious, environments populated by signs surplus to the requirements of communication: ie most of our cities, and our everyday online environments. Brandscapes mesh with Marc Augé’s characterization of non-places where the “link between individuals and their surroundings is established through the mediation of words, or even texts.”
Tags capture the temporal and contingent aspect of brandscapes. The streets of busy cities are populated with small signs advertising bedsits, clubs, tanning services and special offers. The elements of this desperate micro-ecology are adhered to lampposts and even other signs. They are too small for anyone to think of prosecuting the purveyor or for anyone to be bothered to remove them. It is not only our physical space that is tagged, our online spaces and our mobile screens are littered with adhoc tags. The multidimensional urban tagscape presents as non-place in microcosm, or perhaps a foil to the non-place of official or corporate signs, design and notices.
Tags: electronic tag; tag cloud; interactive tag; voice tag; placemarker; indexical; logo; no logo; mascot; buddy beacon; memory space; folksonomy; sensual geography; meeting; interstitial meeting; tagged meeting place; minute; post-it; graffiti; parasitism, maps and pushpins (http://www.datenform.de/mapeng.html)
This workshop pits brands against tags and explores their respective roles in facilitating or hindering social interaction and meetings between people.
- A brand often pertains to a fixed, pre-decided unit of social meaning, applicable to objects of mass consumption. A tag can be a scrap of sticky paper or an electronic trigger that activates complex computational processes. To what extent can branding and/or tagging empower local, non-commercial, transient and minority constituencies?
- What are the cultural precursors of brands and tags (symbols, crests, monads, memes, mythotypes), and how can these inform contemporary encounters in spaces?
- Branded spaces are carefully controlled by particular commercial interests, configured through agreement between brand-holders and licensees (eg Easyjet’s inflight sale of Carte Noire coffee). What does unintended, conflicting and subversive branding interlaced with parasitic tags contribute to the qualities of a place as a site for human encounter?
- The brandscape is characterised by movement from one brand context to another. Tagscapes seem to infiltrate this flow. How is this movement negotiated? How do brands and tags interact with each other and with interstitial, unbranded spaces?
- What are the disruptive effects of mobile digital technologies on brand and the spatiality/temporality of place? How can these characteristics be brought into the design of branded and tagged meeting places?
 Klein, N. 2005. No Logo, London: Harper Perennial.
 Augé, Marc. 1995. Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Trans. J. Howe. London: Verso, 94.
 Mathes, A. 2004. Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication through Shared Metadata, LINK.
This practical workshop will be preceded by and incorporate a research-by-design methodology, involving key designers working with an 'extreme coding' team. The design results will be evaluated, advanced and iterated at the workshop.
This is the third AHRC/EPSRC-funded workshop of the Branded Meeting Places group.
THURSDAY 16 October 2008
13:00-13:30 About the project; about meeting places: Richard Coyne
13:30-14:30 Tagging/locational toolkit: Henrik Ekeus
14:30-15:00 Locational technologies: James Stewart
15:00-16:00 Group discussion and design propositions
16:00-17:30 Selection of a proposition for development
FRIDAY 17 October 2008
09:00-09:30 Report on design development and implementation
09:30-11:00 Short presentations of participants' research
11:00-13:00 Trial of application and feedback
Experiments on Facebook; planning video blogs; slideshow of tags (Quicktime);
Watch the brief development video
Watch the brief development video